Week 1 (1.18)

Course Intro

What is a modeling? What is simulation? Why learn how to do them? What does the course look like? How will we proceed?

Week 2 (1.25)

Logic Models

Class 1 Introduction to logic models, why, what, how

Class 2 More

Lab Building Logic Models in MS Office

Week 3 (2.1)

Flow Charts

A flow chart is a graphic representation of the logic of a deterministic process that can contain contingencies and repetition.

Class 1 Prerequisites, if/then/else, basics, action, decision, loops

Class 2 Stepwise refinement, division of labor

Weeks 4,5 (2.8, 2.15)

Decision Trees

Class 1 Math pre-reqs; Basic tree analysis, folding back (dt01Probability dt02Expected Value dt03Translation dt04Simple tree analysis)

Class 2 The value of information (dt05)

Lab: Building a Decision Model in Excel (part 1)

Class 3 Imperfect tests (dt07) (slides, worksheet (pdf, docx))

Class 4 Risk and Utility (dt06, dt07) (Slides: PPTX,PDF)

Lab: Building a Decision Model in Excel (part 2)

Week 6.5,7 (2.25, 2.29)

Feedback and Flow

Up to now we have modeled the decisions of individual agents. Now we will transition to thinking about modeling the behavior of systems as a whole. The system may be composed of many agents, each responding to environmental conditions which may be effects their behavior (that is, they may be subject to feedback). We will start with difference equations and then slide into stock and flow models and systems dynamics.

Class 1 Math prereqs; system behaviors; difference equations Slides (PDF,PPTX, KEY)

Class 2 Equilibria

Lab Difference Equations

Class 3 From difference equations to stock, flow, and feedback (Slides: pdf | pptx | key)

Class 4 Systems dynamics simulation (Slides: PDF, PPTX, KEY)

Lab Stock and Flow Models

Week 8,9 (3.7, 3.14)

Linear Programing and Optimization

With decision trees we learned how we can make the best choice among alternatives. But what about when we need to choose a best combination of things to accomplish our objectives?

Class 1 Math prereqs, basic concepts, graphing (Slides: PDF, PPTX, KEY, class handout)

Class 2 Shadow Prices and Sensitivity Analysis

Lab Using Solver with Excel

Class 3 Intermediate Considerations

Class 4 Issues and Caveats

Week 10 (3.28)


Why exactly is a bird in the hand worth two in the bush? Is this actually true? In this module we will learn how to compute the present value of a stream of costs or revenues so that comparisons can be made between different scenarios in which costs and benefits occur over a span of time.

Class 1 Basics Slides, Handout

Class 2 internal rate of return, payback; Where do discount rates come from? Caveats and issues

Lab NPV and its friends

Week 11,12 (4.4, 4.11)

Cost Benefit Analysis

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Class 1 Concepts, Fundamental Rule, The Four Cases

Class 2

Class 3

Class 4 Issues and Caveats

Week 13,14 (4.18, 4.25) REVIEW